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Woman Killed By Train in Fairfield


A woman died after being hit by an Amtrak train in Fairfield on Sunday, disrupting train service in that area, according to police.

The train crashed into the person on track 4 on the New Haven-bound track around 5:45 p.m., causing delays. All tracks in the area were shut down, according to Metro-North spokesman Marjorie Anders. 

The investigation is ongoing, but Fairfield police tell News 12 Connecticut  the woman appeared to be trying to cross the tracks to reach a platform on the other side when she was struck. 

The incident is affecting all train service in the area, including 30 minute delays on the New Haven Line of Metro-North. However, Metro-North trains aren't expected to be greatly impacted because not as many trains come through on Sundays.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Chris Van Horne

Drunken Driver Was More Than 3 Times Legal Limit: Cops


South Windsor Police have arrested a man who they said had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit when police stopped him early Monday morning.

A South Windsor Police officer stopped Joseph Lodge’s vehicle on Beelzebub Road around 1:30 a.m. for a violation and said he was suspected of driving under the influence, so police gave him a series of field sobriety tests.

When police gave Lodge, 32, of South Windsor, a subsequent breath test, it said his blood alcohol was more than three times the legal limit, police said.

He was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, failure to drive in proper lane and a stop sign violation.

Lodge was later released on a $1,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear at Manchester Superior Court on April 13.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

Driver Extricated From Crash With Box Truck


Fairfield firefighters extricated a 27-year-old male driver trapped inside a car after a collision with a large box truck early Monday morning on the Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield.

Fire crews responded to a crash involving a box truck and car near the Burroughs Road intersection at 3:10 a.m. on Monday. The car sustained heavy damage in the crash and the driver was unconscious and trapped inside, according to Fairfield Asst. Fire Chief George Gomola.

Police also responded to the scene as firefighters used "the jaws of life" to remove the driver. An AMR ambulance took the driver to the hospital to be treated for injuries. His condition is unknown.

"Fairfield PD did a great job of securing and stabilizing the scene prior to our arrival, allowing firefighters quick access to the victim," Gomola, the incident commander, said in a written statement. "Under the direction of Lt. Eannotti, fire rescue crews used hydraulic rescue tools to gain access to the victim and quickly remove him from the heavily damaged vehicle. This was a job well done by all.”

The driver of the box truck wasn't injured in the crash and declined any medical treatment.

Firefighters deemd the incident under control by about 3:27 a.m.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department

Husband Drove at Wife During Dispute in Naugatuck Driveway: Police


Naugatuck police have arrested a man who is accused of driving at his wife during a domestic dispute last week.

Police responded to Andrew Mountain Road on Friday after being alerted to a domestic disturbance between a husband and wife in the driveway and said Jason Lapan, 32, of Naugatuck, drove toward his wife during an argument.

When Lapan later returned, the couple started arguing again and he tried to take his wife’s phone as she called police, according to a news release from police.

Lapan was charged with third-degree assault, threatening, first-degree reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and interfering with an emergency call.

He was released on a $25,000 surety bond and is due in Waterbury Superior Court on Monday.

Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police

Man Sexually Abused Victim in Front of Child: Police


A 24-year-old Bethel man is accused of sexually assaulting a person in front of a young child.

Police arrested Marcello Astudillo, of Drummers Lane, in his home on Saturday at 11:30 p.m. in an investigation into a domestic violence complaint. The victim told police that Astudillo was attacked and sexually assaulted in the presence of a child who was at the home.

He was charged with first-degree sexual assault, third-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor.

Police didn't release information on the ages of the victim and child.

Astudillo is being held on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Danbury Superior Court on Monday, March 30.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Coyote Attack on Dog Prompts Pet Vaccination Reminder


Ansonia police and the town's animal control officer are reminding residents to make sure your pets have all the vaccinations needed to date after two coyotes attacked a dog on Wednesday, March 27.

"Due to the fact that many people let their pets outside the vaccinations should be up to date," a release from the Ansonia Police Department said. "Care should also be taken when letting the animals out of the house. If possible, the animals should be on a leash and attended to by the owner."

The Lojewska family on Park Place reported on March 26 that two coyotes chased and injured their 5-year-old male pitbull named Lexus the day before. The attack raises concerns about rabies due to the contact with wild animals, but officials said the dog was up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations.

Police warn residents not to approach wild animals they come across and to contact the Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885 if there are any issues with wild animals, particularly if they have made contact with pets or people.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Recall Issued for Easter Egg Cookies


A recall has been issued for Silver Lake Easter Egg Cookies because they include eggs, but that is not disclosed on the label, according to the FDA.

The cookies were primarily sold to supermarkets in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia, Illinois and Indiana.

No illnesses have been reported and the cookies are safe for anyone who does not have an egg allergy.

The 8-ounce packages of Easter Egg Cookies were sold under The Silver Lake label with the UPC code of: 0 37695 49817 1

Customers with an egg allergy who have bought the affected product should dispose of it. Consumers with a questions can call Silver Lake Cookie Company at 1-800-645-9048 x263, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Wallingford Police ID Man, 25, Found Dead on Lawn


Wallingford police are investigating the death of a 25-year-old whose body was found Sunday on Mallard Court, according to police.

Police and firefighters responded to a 911 call reporting an unresponsive person lying on the lawn at 17 Mallard Court and they found resident Tyler B. Gianakos, 25, dead outside his home on Sunday. His body was taken to the medical examiner's office for evaluation, police said.

Police and the medical examiner examined the boy and the preliminary investigation revealed no evidence of foul play. The medical examiner will examine the body further and awaits toxicology results to determine the cause of death.

Detectives are working to establish the sequence of Gianakos' activities from Saturday, March 28 at 3 p.m. until his death.

Police ask anyone with information to call Wallingford police at 203-2845 or 203-294-2805.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Police Looking for Stolen Greenwich Range Rover


Greenwich police are looking for a stolen 2012 Range Rover.

The white vehicle was taken from East Elm Street near the Mason Street intersection in Greenwich on Sunday, March 29 sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

The car was unlocked at the time it was stolen and the keys had been left in the center console.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

$100K Reward for Missing College Student in LA: Family


A $100,000 reward was being offered for the safe return of a UC Berkeley student who went missing after leaving a party near the University of Southern California campus early Saturday morning, family members said.

Eloi Vasquez, a 19-year-old freshman who plays on the school's soccer team, walked out of a fraternity house in the 600 block of West 28th Street about 1:30 a.m. with only his cellphone in hand.

His friends tried to get him to come back to the party, but he told them over the phone he "was going to the beach."

Vasquez then called a friend, Aurora Cardena, in Northern California at 2:18 a.m. and told her he was "screwed" and got lost, his mother Wendy Margolin said.

"He pretty much said, 'I need you to come over here, I need help.' I asked him 'Where are you?' and he told me that he was in LA and that he didn’t know where he was at and that he was lost," Aurora Cardenas told NBC Bay Area. "The second time he called it just clicked. I didn’t know if his phone died, or if he hung up."

When Vasquez left the party he didn't have his wallet, money or ID with him. The phone he used to call his friend has since died.

"Everyone knows how responsible he is, how dedicated to school he is and he hasn't contacted anyone since," Margolin said. "Something is going on with him."

Vasquez's parents drove to LA from Northern California on Saturday hoping to find their son. The home where Vasquez was last seen has since been littered with fliers by friends also in hopes of his return.

A $50,000 reward was offered for Vasquez's safe return Sunday. The amount was doubled Monday. 

"All his friends are out scouring for him... looking around for him," Margolin said. They've gone to lifeguard towers in the Santa Monica and Venice area, hoping someone has seen him.

His mother planned to visit candy and doughnut shops that stayed open late night near where the party was.

Vasquez's friends said they had been drinking at the party on spring break.

"It's definitely unlike him and we're very concerned," said Vasquez's friend, Marko Helfrich.

Vasquez is described as 6 feet tall, weighing about 175 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a baseball T-shirt with red sleeves, gray pants and white tennis shoes.

"Eloi is a wonderful young man who has excelled both academically and athletically here at Cal. Our entire Cal Athletics family is very concerned for Eloi’s safety and our first priority is to help in any way we can to locate him," the Berkeley athletics department said in a statement.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 213-486-8582.

Man Hit Cruisers, Nearly Hit Cop After Pursuit: Police


A man crashed into two parked Middletown police cruisers, drove the wrong way on a one-way street and almost hit a Middletown police officer while fleeing from state police on Friday night, police said.

Middletown police were assisting state police to apprehend Christopher Cruz, 24, of East Hartford, at 11:13 p.m. on Friday when he continued to evade police in downtown Middletown, police said.

During the chase, Cruz hit two unoccupied cruisers, causing more than $1,500 in damage, and almost hit a police officer, police said.

When police stopped Cruz, they found the car was uninsured and unregistered. He was taken into custody and charged with assault on public safety personnel, evading responsibility, reckless driving and several other charges.

He was held on a $3,000 surety bond and is due in court on Monday.

Firefighters Help Horse Stuck on Frozen Pond


Firefighters rseponded to C&M Farms in Bolton to rescue a horse stuck on a frozen pond Monday afternoon.

Bolton fire officials said they were called to the equestrian center at 284 West Street. No people or animals were hurt during the incident, and the rescue was over within 20 minutes.

No additional information was immediately available.

Worker Falls 40 Feet From Tree in Fairfield


Emergency responders were called to Rock Major Road in Fairfield early Monday afternoon after a worker fell more than 40 feet from a tree, according to the fire department.

Fire officials said the man was working for a tree service company outside the home at 188 Rock Major Road when he fell shortly before 12:30 p.m. Monday.

The worker, who was conscious and responsive at the scene, told emergency responders he fell because of a problem with his climbing spikes, according to the fire department.

Medical personnel arrived at the scene and brought the worker to the hospital for treatment. Firefighters said his injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

The worker has not been publicly identified. No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department

Driver Crashes After Drinking at Ruby Tuesdays: Cops


Middletown police charged a Durham man with drunken driving and possession of a small amount of marijuana following a head-on collision  he was involved in after drinking alcohol at Ruby Tuesdays in Cromwell, police said

Thomas Perrault, 23, was traveling in the westbound direction after getting off Route 9 in Middletown when he crashed head-on into a black Ford Escape with his blue Jeep Grand Cherokee on Hartford Avenue (Route 17), blocking eastbound lanes just east of St. Johns Square, police said. Police responded at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.

Perrault told police that he took his eyes off the road momentarily while rounding a bend to look at his passenger and didn't realize his vehicle had crossed over the double yellow line into oncoming traffic as he neared the Main Street intersection. The front of his vehicle on the driver's side crashed into the driver's side on the other car, police said. His passenger told police she was looking out the passenger side window and she heard a loud bang and was confused about what happened, police said.

A responding officer noticed Perrault's eyes were "glassy and blood shot" and smelled alcohol on his breath, so he requested he take a field sobriety test, police said. Perrault and his passenger told the officer that he only had two drinks at Ruby Tuesdays in Cromwell, but he agreed to take the sobriety test and failed all phases of it, police said.

Before police took him to the station for booking, he admitted to the officer that he had pot in his car and police found a small amount of marijuana and a small black scale with pot residue on it in the center console of his car, police said.

Perrault's blood alcohol content came back as .095 when he took a breathalyzer at the station at 8:37 p.m. and 0.89 when he took it a second time at 8:59 p.m. that night. The legal limit is .08, putting Perrault just over.

Police arrested Perrault on charges of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and failure to drive in the proper lane. He was further charged with possession of less than 0.5 ounces of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia with less than 0.5 ounces of marijuana.

Perrault is scheduled to appear in court on April 3 and was released from police custody on a $1,500 non-surety bond.

Third Teen Charged in Fight at New Haven Parade


Police have arrested a third teen in connection with a fight at the New Haven St. Patrick's Day parade that prompted scrutiny of an officer and sparked a series of protests.

Sabrina Parker, 18, of New Haven, is accused of assaulting the sister of a 15-year-old girl identified by her family as Teandrea Cornelius during a fight at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant on Church Street.

Teandrea was accused of carrying a knife and pepper spraying people inside the restaurant. Her arrest was captured on video and caused an uproar in the city.

The footage shows Officer Joshua Smereczynsky forcing Teandrea to the ground. The teen appears to hit her head on the pavement, and family members said she suffered a fractured shoulder and a cut near her eye.

Smereczynsky was placed on desk duty while the department investigated his conduct but was exonerated and returned to work.

Parker has been charged with risk of injury to a minor, third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace.

The girl she's accused of attacking, Teandrea's sister, was arrested March 15 and charged with third-degree assault, carrying a dangerous weapon – a knife – and second-degree breach of peace.

Parker is the third teen charged in connection with the incident. Police said they expect to make additional arrests.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

Religious Group Fights Aid-in-Dying Bill


The Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference is petitioning a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe medications intended to end the lives of their terminally ill patients.

Aid-in-dying, or physician-assisted suicide, has become a nationwide conversation following the death of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old newlywed who moved to Oregon to "die with dignity" when symptoms of her incurable brain cancer became debilitating.

Oregon is one of only four states that have adopted aid-in-dying laws, but Connecticut could potentially join the ranks.

Although a recent Quinnipiac Poll shows most Connecticut voters favor aid-in-dying legislation for terminally ill patients, lawmakers heard deeply divided testimony when they took up an assisted-suicide bill at a hearing last week.

The Connecticut Public Affairs Conference is clearly among those opposed to the legislation. According to a spokesperson for the group, representatives delivered a petition with 21,000 signatures to the state Judiciary Committee around 11 a.m. Monday.

The conference has also lauched a public awareness campaign called "Don't Jump CT", which bears the slogan, "Physician-Assisted Suicide: Let's learn more before we leap to a decision."

Crash Snarls Traffic on Route 2 West in East Hartford


Traffic is backed up on Route 2 westbound in East Hartford in the wake of a crash near exit 4, according to state police.

The highway was shut down briefly late Monday afternoon while emergency crews responded to the scene. There has been no word on injuries.

Although Route 2 has reopened, traffic is still heavily delayed.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Matzo Factory to Leave Historic Jewish Neighborhood


After almost a century on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Streit's Matzo is moving its factory out of Manhattan after Passover.

Man Accused of Killing Construction Worker Faces Judge


A man accused of shooting and killing a worker at a Bridgeport construction site faced a judge Monday after a psychiatric evaluation delayed his arraignment last week.


Gregory Weathers, 33, has been charged with murder, stealing a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol with a permit.

Police said he shot and killed Jose Araujo, 30, a Burns Construction Company employee, after showing up to a job site in Bridgeport and asking the foreman for a job. Weathers and Araujo were strangers and police have been struggling to understand Weathers' motive.

Two officers who were directing traffic at the construction site chased Weathers from the scene and called for backup. They found him hiding behind a house on Saunders Avenue, across the street from where he lives, police said.

Investigators recovered a handgun and said Weathers admitted to the shooting.

He appeared in court Monday and is being held on $1 million bond ahead of his next court appearance April 21, according to the court clerk's office.

Community members have planned a candlelight vigil for Araujo at 7 p.m. at the corner of Chopsey Hill and Pond Street, where the murder occurred.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Man Who Made Fake Dispatch Calls Gets Prison Time


The Massachusetts man accused of making fake dispatch calls across Litchfield County has been sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by three years' probation, according to the court clerk.

Adam Perrelli, a resident of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, was found guilty of making at least eight fake emergency radio transmissions over the Litchfield County Dispatch system that interrupted emergency calls between Dec. 25, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014.

Listen to the calls here:

Police said he sent ambulances out to non-emergencies and canceled calls to actual fires. Investigators said Perrelli used a lost or stolen portable radio or electronic device to place the phony calls.

He was arrested last April in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has been behind bars ever since.

Perrelli was sentenced in Bantam Superior Court on Monday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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